Have you ever had a tooth extracted? Congratulations if you haven't! Your Billerica, MA dentists - Dr. Barry Danzig, Dr. Adam Danzig and Dr. Lili Tayari - wish to keep their patients' smiles strong and healthy; so they work hard at preventive dentistry. However, sometimes a tooth must be extracted. Read the reasons why, how the procedure goes and what post-extraction care involves.
Losing a tooth
It causes an unsightly smile gap and reduced oral function. In other cases, extraction facilitates dental procedures such as orthodontics. Here's why your Billerica dentist may recommend extraction:
- Tooth decay and abscess While tooth-colored fillings, dental crowns and root canal therapy (for infection) treat cavities, sometimes damage is severe. If it is, extraction and replacement with a dental implant or fixed bridge is best.
- Gum disease The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research says that advanced periodontitis is the leading cause of tooth loss in the US. When a tooth has lost substantial gum tissue and bone, it loosens, is prone to deep decay and infection and can even fall out. When a tooth is too far gone and cannot be splinted or if bone loss is too severe, extraction is the only solution.
- Trauma A deep crack or tooth avulsion may necessitate extraction.
- Orthodontic correction When teeth are overcrowded, your Billerica dentist may advise extraction of one or more healthy teeth.
- Wisdom teeth These third molars enter the mouth during adolescence, may crowd neighboring teeth or may be impacted below the gums, causing pain and infection. While prophylactically extracting wisdom teeth is debatable, all dentists agree that a troublesome wisdom tooth must be removed.
- Other medical treatments Because of their location, some teeth impede cancer therapy or other important treatments.
The process and aftercare
There are a couple of ways to extract a tooth. One is simple extraction during which the dentist injects the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. When it's numb, he or she rocks the tooth with an elevator dental instrument to loosen it. Then, the dentist grasps the tooth with a forceps to extract it. A few sutures close the site, and the patient bites on sterile gauze to quell bleeding.
Another method is surgical extraction. Most of these procedures may be performed at Grateful Dentists; however, complex cases go to an oral surgeon. During surgical extraction, the patient is numbed with a localized medication, or the dentist may elect other methods of anesthesia such as laughing gas or oral conscious sedation.
In any case, the dentist must incise the gums to extract the tooth as it may be encased in gum tissue and/or bone. Sutures close the socket.
At home, the extraction patient:
- Rinses with salt water
- Eats a soft diet
- Drinks with a straw
- Does not brush for 24 hours
- Takes over the counter analgesics
Do you need a tooth extracted?
Don't be afraid. The professional staff at Grateful Dentists in Billerica, MA will take care of it comfortably and quickly. Call the office today for a consultation: (978) 667-2741.